Go Vocational! Strengthening Vocational Training and Professions in Bhutan through Exchange with Austria


For continuous UPDATES on our Go Vocational! Programme click HERE!

Promoting Vocational Professions and Training in Bhutan: 008_WorkshopAn Initiative of the Bhutan Network 

In the past decades, the Bhutanese education system and policies have been mainly focusing on so called “white-collar” education whilst vocational education (especially in new professions such as plumbing and electrician, etc.) has been  neglected.

This led to the following situation in the small kingdom:

  • The absence of a profound and long term vocational training system and hence a shortage of highly skilled vocational professionals
  • The lack of highly qualified trainers/teachers in vocational professional training with a long standing experience in theory and practice
  • No dual training system for vocational professions to combine theory and practice
  • The lack of appreciation for vocational jobs: social stigma of vocational professionals, youth prefers to be unemployed rather than choosing a vocational professions as a career. 
  • A very high youth unemployment figure despite of demand of vocasional professionals. High rural exodus to find white colar jobs in the capital.
  • The very slow development of viable medium and small scale private enterprises
  • At policy level: A lack of promotion of vocational professions

The dual vocational training system in the largely German speaking region of Europe is famous and has a long history. Although there has also been a shift in recent years in Europe and it has become more difficult to find suitable apprentices, crafts in Austria are still regarded as important and valued as well as organized and supported through Gilds, unions and various associations.

Available Know-How in Austria:

  • An internationally renowned dual training system for vocational professions
  • A good status of so called „blue collar jobs“ and a high appreciation for excellence in vocational professions
  • A large private sector (small and medium scale enterprises)
  • Well established unions, gilds and associations which represent the vocational professions


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Objectives of the programme Go Vocational!

The objectives of Go Vocational are to strengthen and enhance vocational training and professions in Bhutan and hence the creation of new career opportunities. This will stimulate the private sector and reduce the youth unemployment. Poverty reduction and the decrease of rural urban migration will be promoted through:

  • Partnerships between Austrian and Bhutanese vocational training institutions
  • Applying the service of retired highly qualified vocational professionals from Austria
  • Practical training (study tours) for Bhutanese in Austria
  • Joint Venture Partnerships between small and medium sized enterprises in Austria and Bhutan.

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All Photocredits © Silvia Schmid